Heat stifles South Africa

Somerset 301 South Africa A 39-1
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The Independent Online
The Somerset pair Mark Lathwell and Marcus Trescothick must both feel that they have been on trial for much of their respective careers.

Lathwell, discarded after two Tests against Australia in 1993, set back further by the England A tour to South Africa the following winter and disappointing again last year, yesterday confirmed his recent renaissance with a belligerent century.

His former opening partner, Trescothick, trying to reinvent himself as a number four - when he is picked - cannot exorcise the demons that bedevilled him when first selected three years ago and again last season.

The tall left-hander's only success last summer came as captain of England under-19s against his South African contemporaries. Faced with an older, more experienced team of green caps yesterday, he suffered horribly in the heat, sweating through 12 overs for six runs before giving Steve Palframan a simple stumping.

Keith Parsons, also playing for a place, used the opportunity to better effect, making an elegant 62, of which no fewer than 52 came in boundaries. He and Lathwell appeared to have decided that racing around in yesterday's temperatures was to be avoided, and were more than happy to send one bad ball per over scorching across a parched outfield to the fence. Lathwell smashed 17 fours and one six for his 108 before attempting a risky second run that was spotted by Nicky Boye, whose fine return beat Lathwell's desperate lunge for the crease.

South Africa's fielding was exemplary. Derek Crookes, at long leg, and Nic Pothas, at extra cover, held excellent catches and the bowlers laboured valiantly after two of their number had been rendered hors de combat in the first 90 minutes of the day. Roger Telemachus, having taken Peter Bowler's leg-stump in the fourth over of the morning, limped off with a strained side, to be followed by Jacques Kallis, who suffered a back spasm.

Lance Klusener, eyed with some interest by Somerset before they recruited Shane Lee (rested for this game), fully deserved his five for 74, and was unlucky to be casually swatted for four by last-man Kevin Shine, facing him on a hat-trick.

It all added up to a much smaller total than had seemed likely at lunch. On this pitch and with the tourists' bowling depleted, a fourth draw in their five three-day matches seems the most likely result.

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